Commuter rail fares are to be frozen in real terms for another year – and operators will have less flexibility to vary prices.
Chancellor George Osborne has announced that regulated ticket prices will increase by a maximum of 2.5% from January – the same level as Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation this summer.
Under normal rules, fares could have been in line for RPI+1% hikes – 3.5% – potentially adding tens of pounds more to season ticket bills.
Mr Osborne told the Sun on Sunday: “Support for hardworking taxpayers is at the heart of our long term economic plan.
“It’s only because we’ve taken difficult decisions on the public finances that we can afford to help families further. I can announce that no regulated rail fares will rise by more than inflation in 2015, which together with last year’s freeze will save season ticket holders around £75 over 2014 and 2015.”
Mr Osborne said train firms are also losing the flexibility to raise individual regulated fares by 2% more than the overall average increase – meaning travellers will have more certainty about what will happen to their costs.